The air was rarely too cold or too warm where I was from. The atmosphere was always kept at a perfect temperature throughout the entire day-cycle. I never sweated, unless it was during my mandatory exertion period, and I only ever felt a chill from when I would lift the quilt off of myself after a resting period, or after I would leave the bathing facility; the drafty pressure would lean on my skin, calling forth an army of microscopic bumps as my body readjusted to its surroundings.
I was familiar with those sensations; they were commonplace. They were expected and easily controlled.
What I saw in front of me, was anything but. Or perhaps it would be better to say, who, I saw in front of me.
I had decided spend my recreation period walking around the residential section of the compound, wanting to use the vestiges of the day-cycle to relax my mind from the formal instruction that I had received that day. As time began to wind down, it was in my mind to turn back towards my family's residence. But then I heard it, the sound of cartons being knocked over; it caught me by the ear and dragged my body towards the disturbance.
She was strewn over the garbage receptacle that was now laying on its side, rather than in its proper upright position. Her hair, unruly and lacking any semblance of order, stretched from her scalp to the start of her waistline. Far longer than any girl was regulated to have and like anything I'd seen before. It wasn't like the browns, blondes, and occasional ruddy tresses I was used to seeing. Instead it was… different. I had no other word to describe it. Whatever this 'color' was, it didn't exist. Not for me.
I dared not to breath any louder than a whisper and my feet were completely stilled. I couldn't tell if this person, whoever she was, was alive or not. And if it was the former that held true, I half expected her to body to jump from its currently feeble state and pounce on me if I made and sudden movements. My body started to shake, the only motility it seemed to be capable of in that moment of uncertainty. Fear melded with silent frustration; my heart wouldn't cease its quickening palpitations. The area around us remained in complete abeyance.
There was no one to call for and no one to interrupt our nonexistent exchange. It wasn't until her arm started to stir slightly that I was able to bring feeling back to my limbs as my previously cemented feet skidded backwards, tripping over each other.
The cool flat surface of the ground promptly met with my body, lacking any kind of grace or commiseration. But even the throbbing response of my nerves couldn't pull my attention completely away to this person in front of me. Being on the ground, I was brought to her level. And in the way that the mystery that surrounded her kept me from leaving before, I was now an inescapable prisoner from the defiant eyes that held me there.
It was relentless , the way she stared me down. With every second that passed I felt her authority increase over my will. Not even uttering one word, she dared me to move. To try and exert my power over her volition, over her attitude, over her divergency. I didn't know how to feel under her gaze, it was like nothing I've ever been conditioned to feel before. A sensation that no one could challenge. Nevertheless, she waited to see if I might move against her.
I knew that I couldn't. And both of us knew that I wouldn't.